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10 Of The Best Books For New Leaders

Rumor has it that the best leaders in the world read an average of at least 10 books each year. With that, here is my list of the best books for leaders to read in 2020.
Best Books For Leaders To Read In 2020

Leadership is a Learned Skill

People often assume that leadership is a personality trait. We’ve all heard of the “natural leader” and we assume that’s how leaders are made. But, in my experience leaders are rarely naturals!
Sure, some people tend to fall into leadership roles more naturally than others, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t be a leader.
Successful leadership isn’t defined by your personality type or the skills you were born with. Rather, successful leadership is defined by your willingness to learn.
It is under that premise that I decided to compile a list of 10 books that I believe are essential for leaders all to read and implement. These are all books that I most frequently find myself recommending to others.
I recently wrote about the 5 biggest challenges that new leaders face when they become new managers. This post also serves as a continuation of that discussion. Here, I hope to provide a way for those new leaders to continue learning well into the new year.
If you are looking to improve your leadership skills in 2020 this is a great place to start. These books will make you a better leader, manager, and entrepreneur!

10 Best Books For Leaders To Read In 2020

  1. The Score Will Take Care Of Itself by Bill Walsh – This is my go-to leadership book for just about any situation. This book will give you a framework for building teams that generate real results. If you know me, you’ve heard me talk about setting a ’standard of performance’ for your team. This concept came directly from this book.
  2. High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove – You’ll need to skip the section about making breakfast, but otherwise, this is an excellent read. The advice in this book is wide-ranging. It will help you focus on the right priorities as a leader, and run better meetings. It’s an all-around 101 guide to leadership and management.
  3. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker – I have read several books by Peter Drucker, but this one is my favorite. The main reason for that is because it focuses on how to manage yourself as a leader – an often forgotten part of the leadership puzzle.
  4.  The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, & Change the Way You Lead Forever, Michael Bungay Stanier – This is a quick read that will help you be a better coach for your team. I dig into the importance of coaching in my original post on becoming a manager but start here if you are looking to run better 1-on-1’s and communicate with your team in a more valuable way.
  5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz  – You’ve probably seen this one included on other lists and mine is no different. In the book Horowitz will give you an idea of what it takes to be a leader in a startup organization. Startups are rapidly learning and changing organizations so they have a set of rules all their own. While many of the books on this list are geared toward general leadership, this book will help you navigate leadership at a startup specifically.
  6. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman – Getting the most from your team is a key aspect of what it takes to be a leader and a great manager. This book will give you the mindset you need to get that done without being the selfish-jerk style leader that we always see in the movies.
  7. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt – This is a very operation heavy book that will cover performance reviews, hiring, and building and structuring teams. Google is a unique company with a unique way of working so this should give you a good perspective that will help you as your company or startup grows.
  8. Powerful by Patty McCord – This is my favorite book for recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams. Patty’s approach to most human resources topics is different and radically necessary in the modern economy. This book will make you WAY better at the art of managing people.
  9. Who: The A Method For Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street – I rebuilt the entering hiring process we use at CoSchedule after reading this book. My advice: use what you learned from Google and Patty McCord and blend it with the hiring process outlined here.
  10. Linchpin by Seth Godin – It’s hard for me to make a list of the best books for leaders without including this one. While it is the only book on this list that isn’t specifically a leadership book, it is still teaching an important lesson about how to fight your own fears and get things done. I still make every new hire at CoSchedule read this book during their first three months on the job.

Published by Garrett Moon

Garrett Moon is the author of the 10x Marketing Formula and CEO and co-founder of CoSchedule, the web's most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. You can follow Garrett on his blog, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter.